Biotech's Centocor Jockeys For Position In Drug Field

With several pharmaceutical products about to emerge from the pipeline, the firm sets its sights on becoming a `Merck of the year 2000' MALVERN, PA. -- When chemist Vincent Zurawski left Massachusetts General Hospital in 1979 to help found a new biotech company, Centocor Inc., he was like perhaps hundreds of other bright young scientists of his generation. He had an urge to scratch an entrepreneurial itch. "There was no doubt in my mind," recalls Zurawski, "that we were going to create a bill

Susan L-J Dickinson
May 13, 1990


With several pharmaceutical products about to emerge from the pipeline, the firm sets its sights on becoming a `Merck of the year 2000'
MALVERN, PA. -- When chemist Vincent Zurawski left Massachusetts General Hospital in 1979 to help found a new biotech company, Centocor Inc., he was like perhaps hundreds of other bright young scientists of his generation. He had an urge to scratch an entrepreneurial itch.

"There was no doubt in my mind," recalls Zurawski, "that we were going to create a billion-dollar company."

But a decade later, as bio-technology's industry-wide sales reach a billion dollars for the first time, Centocor's annual revenue is only flirting with the $28 million mark, and the fulfillment of Zurawski's dream for his Malvern-based company still appears remote. Clearly, Centocor has a long way to go.

Nevertheless, the company - for reasons that go beyond revenue numbers - is widely recognized as a...

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